Mooseheart, also known as the “City of Children,” can be found in Kane County, IL and is a short distance from Vital Wellness Center located in Elburn, IL. The unincorporated community of Mooseheart is actually a home for children and is operated by the Loyal Order of Moose. It was featured in the 1949 episode of MGM’s short film series, Passing Parade, and was written and narrated by John Nesbitt. In 2013, Mooseheart celebrated its 100-year anniversary, which included public tours, a rededication ceremony, and a fireworks display.
The history of Mooseheart Child City and School is inextricably linked to that of the Women of the Moose and the Loyal Order of Moose, two organizations that inspired the creation of this home and community for disadvantaged children. The founder of Mooseheart was James J. Davis, who later became Secretary of Labor to three presidents and subsequently served 14 years as a United States senator. In late 1906, he agreed to take on the job of recruiting members into the then-faltering Moose organization. He proposed to use members’ combined resources to establish a home and school where dependent widows of Moose members could take their children. Although he is honored as the founder of Mooseheart because he conceived the “child city” concept and sold thousands of men on the idea, it was in fact Rodney Brandon who built the property and guided the campus’ planning, construction, staffing and program for its first three years of operation.
Mooseheart rests on a 1000-acre campus 38 miles west of Chicago and is available to children and teens in need, from infancy through high school. There are 30 residences on the property, which are similarly designed to a spacious single-family home and each one housing six to 12 children. Family teachers are the heart of the program. They provide a consistent, systematic method of care that focuses on social and developmental skills, which are needed to succeed later in life.
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